BlackburnNews.com file photo of Leamington Municipal Building, February 1, 2016. (Photo by Caleb Workman)

Council Moves Forward with Watermain Crossing

Leamington council has agreed to move forward with a watermain crossing across Hwy. 77 in order to develop future greenhouse locations.

Council voted 7-0 to push the watermain crossing in conjunction with the Ministry of Transportation. The agreement will allow Pure Flavor Farms Inc. to receive water service east of Hwy. 77 for greenhouse development.

Leamington’s Mayor John Paterson says they’ve been ready to go through with this plan for about a year now and were waiting for the MTO’s approval to do work on a provincial road. He also says the project will not cost the municipality much.

“I’m sure part of it will be our cost but most of the cost will be picked up by [Pure Flavor Farms],” says Paterson.

Paterson says there will be job opportunities to come from this when the greenhouse is up and running.

“Most of these greenhouse operations, well, all of them now, usually have the growers who are here all year around – certainly high paid people,” says Paterson. “And all the other business people that are attached to that greenhouse operation.”

There is no number on how many jobs will be created in the future development but will be discussed as soon as development is underway.

Paterson says they are happy they were able to get the approval from the MTO and the priority put on the project will help get it done quickly.

Ruth Orton, director of legal and legislative services for the town of Leamington, says she is not aware of any dates for the project to begin but she does not anticipate any road closures when it does begin.

“Generally they are installed through a… trail underneath the highway and there’s no effect to the highway operations,” says Orton.

Orton said they are looking forward to the project going underway.

“We’re always open and thrilled when there is any kind of development – be it a greenhouse, be it spin-off opportunities,” says Orton. “We are obviously a huge greenhouse industry here. We’re always dealing with expanding our new greenhouse operation so it’s always important for us to act quickly and assist with these developers whenever we can.”